China has further tightened the COVID-19 restrictions in its capital Beijing ahead of the Labour Day holidays with authorities rolling out new measures every day vowing to double down on its Zero COVID approach. Beijing, which is on high alert against instability before the important Communist Party national congress in the autumn, has seen local infections gradually growing nearly 300 within a week.
AIR correspondent reports, As per the latest order, a negative COVID test result is required to enter public facilities in Beijing. From Thursday, after Labour Day break, residents in the Chinese capital will be required to provide proof of a negative PCR test result taken within the previous seven days to use public transport and enter office buildings, entertainment venues, hospitals and sporting facilities.
The municipal government did not say how long the policy will continue. The requirements are in addition to the three rounds of mass testing carried out in 11 out of Beijing’s 16 districts in the last week and the Chaoyang district will undergo another three rounds of COVID test starting from tomorrow. Targeted lockdowns have also been imposed on a number of downtown commercial and residential areas after several clusters of cases.
In another major city, the financial capital Shanghai which captured international attention due to its ravaging COVID outbreak causing more than 550000 cases and plaguing lockdown, new Covid-19 infections again crossed 10000 mark including asymptomatic ones. The city has yet to announce a timeline for reopening.
The city’s anti-pandemic work was still “at a critical stage” and the government will continue to tighten restriction measures at the community level, Shanghai health commission said on Saturday.
More than six weeks of lockdown has led to anger and frustration among 25 million Shanghai residents who have struggled to find food and other daily necessities and shown rare public protests to the government’s stringent controls mostly on social media. The residents of Shanghai are protesting against the month-long lockdown and difficulties in obtaining provisions by banging pots and pans.
According to media reports, thousands of elderly people in the Chinese city of Shanghai have been hit hard by the ongoing lockdown as they have been forced to move in crowded state-run quarantine centers which are reportedly in unsanitary conditions, with clogged up toilets and overflowing rubbish bins.